Good morning and Happy Friday!
About a week ago I managed my first real onsite event for my new job. It was a dinner for retired members of the team and it took place at a beautiful venue in New Jersey. It was also storming pretty hard so it added an extra layer of worry. But, thankfully, it went brilliantly. Two retired members of the company even came up to me at the end of the dinner, shook my hand and said "we saw you working the dinner and we saw what you did - making sure everything was top notch for us. thank you!" It's nice when that happens. :)
Now, I just started this new job in late May and on top of the usual on-boarding and throwing myself into events, I also took a pre-planned trip to LA to reconnect with some people I love and then, later in June took a few days to go to a wedding in my hometown for a woman I have loved/adored for 50 years (which is funny since we are both perpetually 29 <wink>). I'd been planning this trip for a year and a half and it was the culmination of a lot of various threads of my life.
So you might say that it's been an intense past few weeks (to put it mildly! LOL). By the end of that evening, I was, understandably, cumulatively, mentally exhausted by the long haul of it all. Everything had turned out well, but, it was at that point, a matter of getting to a specific point in time to allow myself to exhale.
I called a Lyft to get me back home to Manhattan and the guy showed up in less than 10 minutes. He lives in NYC and had just dropped someone off from NYC so the timing was perfect. I sat in the back of the car, the driver expertly handling traffic, the weather, etc which allowed me to begin the exhaling process. I was home before the next train on NJ Transit would have even left.
It routinely occurs to me that we don't really know the impact we have on others but this night illustrated it brilliantly for me:
To the Lyft driver, perhaps, I was just some guy getting picked up in the rain; a convenient fare.
To me, he was a golden ticket home, to the Mister, to an earlier bedtime than I had anticipated, and a welcome safe ride through tumultuous weather at the end of an emotionally charged sequence of events.
As I exited the cab, I thought that I should say - "I saw what you did, making sure that the ride was safe and swift, thank you", but suddenly I felt a little foolish and overly emotional... but I think he sensed my relief as he jumped out of the car and grabbed my bag from the trunk and flashed me a warm smile, pausing slightly as I fumbled to get my keys out of the bag before driving off.
Life is always difficult. We know this to be true. But it is the small, perhaps even theoretically insignificant, kindnesses that make the difference in this weary world. The kindnesses of the comments, the driver, meant a lot to me on a weary rainy evening.
So the next time you think the little things you do don't make a differences, know that they do, even if you may never know it.
I see you.
I see what you do.
I can think of no better note to end the work week with!